Chateau Pavie Macquin (Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
Blend: 78% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
From a cooler, pure limestone terroir just over the hill from Château Pavie, the 2018 Château Pavie Macquin offers an incredible assortment of red and black fruits, cedary spice, white truffle, graphite, and beautiful minerality. Showing the cooler, complex, concentrated style of the vineyard, it's full-bodied and powerful on the palate, with no shortage of extract or tannins. The wine always has a healthy pH and needs bottle age to show at its best. A solid 7-8 years are warranted here, and it will keep for 2-3 decades. The 2018 is 78% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, representing 90% of the total production. I think this estate has been underrated in the market and it can still be found for reasonable prices. It ages beautifully and I doubt you could have too much in the cellar. Barrel Sample: 97-99
Barrel Sample: 98
Barrel Sample: 95-97
This research and this contemplation of a viticulture and vinification based on respect for natural law and a dynamic tradition have made Pavie Macquin a virtual laboratory. It is not a question of creating a new wine but simply of revealing the terroir and unveiling the qualities that were hitherto hidden. In one phrase, it meant revealing the hidden beauty of this ‘Cinderella’.
On the occasion of the reclassification of the Saint Emilion chateaux (in September 2006), Chateau Pavie Macquin was promoted to the prestigious level of Premier Grand Cru Classé.
Marked by its historic fortified village—perhaps the prettiest in all of Bordeaux, the St-Émilion appellation, along with its neighboring village of Pomerol, are leaders in quality on the Right Bank of Bordeaux. These Merlot-dominant red wines (complemented by various amounts of Cabernet Franc and/or Cabernet Sauvignon) remain some of the most admired and collected wines of the world.
St-Émilion has the longest history in wine production in Bordeaux—longer than the Left Bank—dating back to an 8th century monk named Saint Émilion who became a hermit in one of the many limestone caves scattered throughout the area.
Today St-Émilion is made up of hundreds of independent farmers dedicated to the same thing: growing Merlot and Cabernet Franc (and tiny amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon). While always roughly the same blend, the wines of St-Émilion vary considerably depending on the soil upon which they are grown—and the soils do vary considerably throughout the region.
The chateaux with the highest classification (Premier Grand Cru Classés) are on gravel-rich soils or steep, clay-limestone hillsides. There are only four given the highest rank, called Premier Grand Cru Classés A (Chateau Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, Pavie) and 14 are Premier Grand Cru Classés B. Much of the rest of the vineyards in the appellation are on flatter land where the soils are a mix of gravel, sand and alluvial matter.
Great wines from St-Émilion will be deep in color, and might have characteristics of blackberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice, chocolate, grilled meat, earth or truffles. They will be bold, layered and lush.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.